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Ex Parte McCardle

Significance, Congress Denies Mccardle Access To Supreme Court, Congress Could Not Be Denied, Reconstruction


United States


William H. McCardle

Petitioner's Claim

That McCardle had incited insurrection and impeded post-Civil War Reconstruction.

Chief Lawyers for Petitioner

Matthew H. Carpenter, Lyman Trumbull

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

Jeremiah S. Black, David Dudley Field, Charles O'Conor, W. L. Sharkey, Robert J. Walker

Justices for the Court

Salmon Portland Chase (writing for the Court), Nathan Clifford, David Davis, Robert Cooper Grier, Stephen Johnson Field, Samuel Freeman Miller, Samuel Nelson, Noah Haynes Swayne

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

12 April 1869


That the Supreme Court was without jurisdiction to render a decision, because Congress had repealed certain appeals legislation.

Related Cases

  • Toth v. Quarles, 350 U.S. 11 (1955).
  • Westmoreland v. CBS, 770 F. 2d 1168 (1984).


Hurwitz, Howard L. An Encyclopedic Dictionary of American History, New York: Washington Square Press, 1974.

Further Readings

  • Franklin, John Hope. Reconstruction: After the Civil War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961.
  • Morris, Richard B. Encyclopedia of American History. New York: Harper & Row, 1982.
  • Tortora, Anthony. "Ex parte McCardle." National Review, September 19, 1980, pp. 1140-1141, 1157.
  • Trefousse, Hans L. Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1833 to 1882